‘It’s a turning point for the economy’: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt hints at tax cuts in Autumn Statement ‘for growth’

18 November 2023, 00:47 | Updated: 18 November 2023, 12:32

Jeremy Hunt has signalled potential tax cuts.
Jeremy Hunt has signalled potential tax cuts. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Jeremy Hunt has claimed the economy has “turned a corner” as he hints tax cuts could be on their way in next week’s Autumn Statement.

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It comes after the Chancellor was said to be contemplating cutting inheritance tax by as much as half in next week's Autumn Statement.

Economists have given the Chancellor a better-than-expected spending forecast, meaning that he has up to £10 billion more to spend on measures, which he could use to pay for the tax cut.

Now Mr Hunt has said that the government is set on a path to “reducing the tax burden”.

His comments came on Friday, the same day he was set to receive a final forecast from the Office For Budget Responsibility before making a final decision on the cuts over the weekend.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Hunt said: “The big message on tax cuts is there is a path to reducing the tax burden and a Conservative government will take that path.

“It’s not an easy path. There are difficult decisions you have to take to get there.

“But we believe if we’re going to grow the economy, this is going to be an Autumn Statement for growth, then we have to show the country there is a path to a lower tax economy.”

The Chancellor has said the economy is at a 'turning point'.
The Chancellor has said the economy is at a 'turning point'. Picture: Alamy

Aside from tax cuts, the Chancellor is also poised to announce a crackdown on benefits claimants and energy bills help for people who agree to have pylons installed in their area.

Asked specifically whether the statement would see the introduction of tax cuts, Mr Hunt said: “Without pre-empting the decisions that the Prime Minister and I make, this is an Autumn Statement for growth. It’s a turning point for the economy.”

His comments come after new data published this week showed inflation had dropped sharply to 4.6% from 6.7%, the lowest it has been in two years.

The new data meant the government met its target to halve inflation by the end of the year.

Read more: Jeremy Hunt deliberating cuts to inheritance tax in Autumn Statement

Read more: Everything we know about the Autumn Statement- from Inheritance Tax cuts to energy bills help

Mr Hunt is also set to announce financial sanctions for benefits claimants who can work but are choosing not to.
Mr Hunt is also set to announce financial sanctions for benefits claimants who can work but are choosing not to. Picture: Alamy

While the specifics of Mr Hunt’s statement next week remain unknown, Inheritance Tax cuts and a crackdown on benefits claimants are thought to be among the measures announced.

Another measure set to be announced is a £120 rise in Council Tax for the average family.

The Treasury is rumoured to be planning to announce changes to the Pension Triple-Lock, which guarantees that pension rates will rise by either the rate of inflation, 2.5%, or the rate of wage increases over the past year.

Under the planned changes, bonuses could be scrapped from the wage growth calculations.

Homeowners who make their houses more energy efficient within two years of purchasing could get a partial Stamp Duty rebate, under new plans set to be announced in the Autumn statement.

The threshold at which people start paying stamp duty could also increase.

The rate is currently 5% of the value of a property over £250,000 and 10% of the value of properties over £925,000.

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